Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity – Pr. Anderson sermon
St. Matthew 6:24-34 “Sufficient for the Day is its Own Trouble”
September 17, 2023 | Christ Lutheran Church
In Nomine Iesu
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Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank You for all Your benefits. that You have given us life and graciously sustained us to this day: We beseech You, do not take Your blessing from us; preserve us from covetousness, that we may serve You only, love and abide in You, and not defile ourselves by idolatrous love of wealth, but hope and trust only in Your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, by Veit Dietrich, p. 162)
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (Rom. 1:7, etc.)
The sermon text for today is taken from the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. We read selected verses in Jesus’ name:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
These are Your words, heavenly Father. Sanctify us by Your truth, Your Word is truth. Amen. (Joh. 17:17)
In Christ Jesus, whose Heavenly Father feeds the birds and waters the plants, who loves you so much more that Christ put His perfect trust in Him to die for you, dear fellow redeemed:
Growing up in rural Colfax, Wisconsin my father’s old boat sat out in the woods. On the front of the trailer one year, blue jays built a nest, but every year after, robins used it. They were crammed in their little nest but they made due. My siblings and I were able to climb up onto the boat trailer and watch the eggs, and then after a little while, we watched baby robins. We loved watching them so much, that we eventually helped mom and dad robin by catching worms and feeding them to their young. One Sunday morning, my father scared the little guys out of their nest. Another year, I scared the little ones out of the nest. Both times we wondered as kids, how can those little guys survive out of the nest without mom and dad bringing them worms to eat? Jesus makes it very clear how those baby robins survive outside the nest. He addresses our problems of worrying and He lets us know that there is no need for it. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
For Jesus and His disciples, troubles are coming. He tells the disciples and the crowd that was with them a warning about serving two masters, followed by “do not be anxious about tomorrow.” The disciples don’t need to worry about the future. They should already know this. They know what is written in the law as we already heard. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). To love God means that you are putting all of your trust in Him. That God has it all under control. Well how did the disciples do when it comes to trusting in God? “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:21-22). Jesus is harsh with His response calling Peter, Satan. St. Matthew also witnessed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Then all the disciples left him and fled (Matthew 26:56).
Jesus is teaching what God has already taught. You shall love God. He is the one true God. He loves, cares, and provides for you. The disciples also knew this as they were supposed to tell this command to those they loved. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7). We are to always show love to God. And as Jesus points out, to love God with all of your heart, soul, and might means, that you are putting your full trust in Him, in everything that you do.
Is it possible to put our full trust in God in everything that we do? The answer should be yes and some people may even tell you that it is possible, but we know deep down we fail at keeping this great commandment. How do we break this
commandment? [Jesus said:] “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” So we start off weighing God and our possessions in the world. The moment that we decide that the master we want to slave for is mammon, our money and possessions, anxiety will now follow. God is constant. He is safe and He protects us. But it is all over when we choose the other master becoming a slave to it and we worry where our belongings will come from. We now worry about food, clothing, property, income, health, wellness, and the slippery slope of despair has begun. Unfortunately for us, to worry is a sin and when we put our trust in something other than God, we are actually putting our trust in the devil.
And as we worry and in weakness put our trust in the things of this world, Jesus was not worried about what the future was going to hold. The disciples were worried they would lose Jesus, and yet Jesus was perfectly confident. Jesus trusted in God the Father with all His heart. He trusted in the Father’s plan of salvation. Each day had its own trouble, but the days weren’t going to tempt Jesus to worry. So He tells His disciples and the crowd, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Those little birds, those baby robins are being cared for by their loving Father. And as they are loved by their Father the Father loves His creation of man even more.
He doesn’t want man to be slaves to the master of possessions. He doesn’t want man to be slaves and subjected by the devil. God’s Son, Jesus Christ is sufficient for every day’s trouble. As the disciples worried about losing Jesus, He assured them time and time again that all trust goes to God even when He is going to die on a cross. He is not just a man suffering, but God is one and Jesus suffered, died, and rose for the sins of the world. A perfect trust only God can have. Jesus is the example of complete trust in God the Father as He gave His life for the world, as he gave His life for you.
Jesus’ resurrection is the proclamation of trusting in God completely. Jesus trusted in God’s plan of salvation, knowing that He would rise on the third day. This is what He told His disciples. Everything will be alright. He tells you that everything will be alright. There will be times in your life where it is so much easier to trust in the world and what is tangible. God saw that after the fall. Man does not want to trust Him. He reminds you, to “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” And as each day has its troubles, as you sometimes look toward a master of possession instead of God, Jesus resurrection assures you that you have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
You can cling to Jesus’ perfect trust, even if the day’s trouble feels very hard. This is the hope that you have as you believe that Christ is your Savior from sin, death, and the devil. Our worries can be put behind us with the promises of Christ. Most people are not so fortunate. Those who don’t believe in God, they have to put their trust in a master of possessions. St. Paul tells us this when he says, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” In their troubles, they put their trust in the world that it will provide for them. You see that your day is sufficient because Christ won you salvation and your Heavenly Father provides for your every need.
As you have your troubles that bother you, remember that everyone has their own burden to bear. As we come together in worship on Sunday, we also come together in prayer for one another as Paul writes, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness….Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1, 2). We shoulder our problems together, not that we can fix each other’s problems, but that we all cast our anxiety on the perfect Savior who takes away our sins and grants us forgiveness. We can be content with the day because each day is sufficient in the arms of Christ Jesus.
It sometimes is hard to serve the right master even when we know God is the right master. We know that we want to trust in Him completely. As our troubles become overbearing and we lose contentment for what we have, we can think that there is no relief to be found. This sin of worrying and not being content with what God has given us is forgiven. If anyone should have worried about what was going to happen, if anyone should have faltered in their trust in God, it should have been Christ. His trust did not falter. It didn’t falter as He humbly served out his life. It didn’t falter as He marched into Jerusalem. And it did not falter even as He hung nailed to a cross. We rejoice in the death and resurrection of Christ because He died and rose that we might be saved. Our trust is not in vain. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” And our trouble is no match for the glory of Christ, who carries our anxieties about the future away. Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
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